Baptists have long been champions of religious freedom, recounted mega church pastor Rick Warren and Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore, in a panel moderated by Judge Ken Starr, president of Baptist affiliated Baylor University.
Last week's symposium on "Proselytism and Development" was hosted by Georgetown University's Berkley Center, whose Religious Freedom Project is directed by IRD board member Thomas Farr.
Early champions of religious liberty included Rhode Island colony founder Roger Williams and Baptist clergy like John Leland who influenced Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. more >>
Influential megachurch Pastor Rick Warren and 49 other Catholic and Evangelical scholars and intellectuals have signed their names to an eight-page declaration that opposes society's growing acceptance of same-sex marriages and labels homosexual unions as a "graver threat" to marriage than widespread divorce and cohabitation because it is a parody of marriage.
The declaration entitled "The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage" was written by the alliance called Evangelicals and Catholics Together and is set to be published in the March edition of the religion journal First Things.
Although the Catholics and Evangelicals involved in the writing of this overarching declaration against sexual sin still hold differences when it comes to the legitimacy of divorce and use of contraception, their differences were set aside as they focused on tackling what they consider to be the biggest problem facing marriage in society today. more >>
Jill Dillard has released new information about how she is staying fit throughout her pregnancy—she works out to inspirational messages.
"Walking at the gym this morning while listening to a sermon by Pastor Rick Warren on the #OnePlace app!" Dillard posted to Instagram with a photo of herself.
Dillard, married to husband Derick, is 28 weeks pregnant with the couple's first child, a boy, due this summer. The couple discovered they were pregnant not long after returning from their honeymoon. However, it came as a surprise to both of them, and Jill explained that it took three pregnancy tests to convince her that she was, in fact, expecting. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren encouraged the congregation at Mars Hill Church during its final Sunday service to trust Jesus and give grace to its leaders, including Mark Driscoll, who resigned from the church as its founding and lead pastor amid much controversy in October.
The Seattle-based megachurch officially dissolves at the end of the year and the individual campuses still meeting become independant churches.
In his sermon via pre-recorded video, Warren said, "Let me suggest this: number one, refuse to be bitter about what's happened. If you hold onto bitterness you'll only hurting yourself. Bitterness prolongs the pain." more >>
Saddleback Church's Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to give the congregation at the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, hosted at a dozen regional locations, its last sermon via video this Sunday, as the megachurch, founded and once led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, officially dissolves.
"As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches," officials stated Tuesday on the church's website. "While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God's work through his people will continue."
As Mars Hill staff were busy closing the final chapter on the church that once rocked the Seattle area and beyond with its edgy, strict orthodox preacher who had his share of leadership problems that led to his resignation in October, there were no official reaction statements coming from the church other than an announcement on its website. Both Driscoll and Warren declined to comment, according to their respective media representatives at press time. more >>
Sharing on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, Kay Warren, co-founder of California's Saddleback Church, recalled that her late son, Matthew, was the funniest and most courageous person she has ever met in her life, and said that while the suicide rate is alarmingly high in the country, there is hope because suicide is preventable.
Matthew, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound last year, was the "funniest person I have ever met," she told the audience at the Saddleback Church, which she co-founded with her husband, Pastor Rick Warren.
"He was creative, he was kind, he was highly intelligent. He was my baby, and at the center of our family through the years of his struggles... Matthew was the most courageous person that I have ever known... I don't know how he lived as long as he did," Warren added. more >>